PUTNEY – Dartmouth College’s Coast Jazz Orchestra will perform Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Next Stage Theater on Kimball Hill in Putney. The double program includes the sextet conducted by Mali Obomsawin, bassist, singer, composer and songwriter from the Abenaki nation of Odanak.
“Mali’s distinctive fusion of indigenous culture and jazz, and her journey from the folk traditions of her youth to avant-garde jazz, places her in a unique position among her generation of artists. We couldn’t be more excited to bring him to Next Stage, ”said Keith Marks, Executive Director. “The arrival of Dartmouth College in Windham County is just the beginning of building a relationship that will allow us to provide more dynamic arts programming in the region.
The Coast Jazz Orchestra in Dartmouth is a musical collective that focuses on bringing jazz, black American music and creative music to the Upper Valley and beyond. Working with a wide variety of artists, styles and periods of the jazz tradition, The Coast strives to be a community dedicated to the culture of joy and sonic expression. Whether playing classic big band tracks or more contemporary creations, the band systematically mixes past and present traditions into every note. With over 100 years of history, the Coast is possibly the oldest college jazz ensemble in the world.
Under the direction of Taylor Ho Bynum, The Coast has recently explored a repertoire ranging from Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Carla Bley and Charles Mingus, to new works and world premieres by Bynum and his contemporaries like Mary Halvorson and Kris Davis. In addition to collaborating with Mali Obomsawin’s sextet for a massive two-group finale, the group will celebrate their exit into the pandemic era “Lookin ‘Forward …” – a collection of highlights from the previous four years.
Mali Obomsawin is a bassist, singer, songwriter and songwriter from the Abenaki nation of Odanak. Known for her extensive work on the American folk scene as a bassist and with her trio Lula Wiles (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings), Obomsawin draws her influences from a wide range of traditional North American music. She is an internationally renowned artist, having performed and taught in the United States, Canada and Europe, and her three releases on the Smithsonian label have been acclaimed by Rolling Stone, NPR and Paper Magazine. In 2020, she joined the Indigenous Performance Production, “Welcome To Indian Country,” a show featuring original content from six Indigenous artists from across the country.